Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Technology’

Whelan on Cost-Effective Legal Research

The August 2009 issue [pdf] of the Ontario Bar Association’s magazine Briefly Speaking/EnBref has an article by David Whelan, Manager, Legal Information for the Law Society of Upper Canada on using free and inexpensive legal research tools called “Right Size Your Research”–see pages 24 and 25 [pdf]. I like that he emphasizes texts as a starting point, and of course endorses use of law libraries as a helpful resource. This is a nice round-up of resources for those looking to economize, especially for legal researchers who do not already have flat rate subscriptions to major online legal research . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Is It Too Late for Opera?

If I had to guess, I think that most Slaw readers use Mozilla Firefox as their primary personal browser, even if their workplaces may well mandate Internet Explorer as the browser on their work desktop. Three years back Simon (the other) reminded us of the benefits of an old favourite Opera – which I recall was my own browser of choice a long time back, when Netscape finally gave up the ghost. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New E-Reader Planned

Thus far I’ve successfully resisted the charms of Kindles 1 and 2, such as they are, and of the Sony Reader as well. Though I’m someone who reads a whole lot of text on a screen, I’m still a committed bookist when it comes to, well, books.

It is possible that the promised Eee Reader from Asus might be a game changer for me. For one thing, as with the netbook that the Taiwan company launched, this device would be cheap — perhaps $200, according to reports. Then, as you can see from the image, which is an imagined . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading, Technology

U.S. Law Librarians’ Changing Scene

There’s an interesting article today on about what impact the recession is having on the situation of law librarians in the United States. “Law Librarians: ‘No More Sacred Cows’” by Alan Cohen is based on the 2009 American Lawyer survey of law librarians. To see the actual findings of the full survey you’ll have to be a subscriber, but Cohen hits the high spots for you.

    Library budgets have shrunk in 46% of cases, compared to 9% in 2008 / The expectation from the firms is that every resource must show a decent ROI. / New software

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

Beware if Using Ctrl+F to Search Websites for Keywords in Internet Explorer

I hate being reminded of the fallibility of technology. I love the confidence I feel from noting up a case using an electronic database; I hate it when I find that (contrary to the results of my electronic search) the case has in fact been overturned on appeal. I recently experienced a similar feeling when using the federal government’s laws website

Perhaps I’m spoiled by the ability in electronic database programs like QuickLaw and WestLaw to step from “hit” to “hit” in my search results. Or maybe I’m just lazy. When I am looking for something on a webpage . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Interview With’s Chilwin Cheng

Last month I wrote about Fired Without Cause, an online legal service for consumers created by Vancouver startup Paradigm Shift Solutions Inc., formed by Chilwin Cheng, LLB and Jim Hamlin, a software development expert. Since I’m curious to know how innovative companies get started in the Canadian legal industry, I arranged for a telephone interview with Chilwin Cheng through his PR company Fleishman-Hillard.

Connie: I want to start at the beginning. Where did you do your law degree? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology

Google’s Settlement With AAP and the Authors Guild

Sept. 4 is the deadline for submissions to the United States District Court – Southern District of New York regarding “Google Book Search,” as the proposed settlement has come to be known.

In a court order of April 28 (via Wired), the judge agreed that it was prudent to allow additional time for stakeholders to assess the agreement. Pamela Samuelson was the lead author requesting the extension, and has written a wonderfully lucid account, not only of the shortcomings of the agreement, but also succinctly identifying the motivations of the parties in fashioning it.

Her short article appears in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Reading, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

New Rules on Crossing the Border With Laptops

Slaw readers crossing the US border should read closely the folloing statement issued this morning by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

CBP Border Search of Electronic Devices Containing Information

(PDF, 10 pages – 4.87 MB)
ICE Border Searches of Electronic Media (PDF, 10 pages – 453 KB)
Privacy Impact Assessment: Border Searches of Electronic Information
(PDF, 51 pages – 6 MB)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced new directives to enhance and clarify oversight for searches of computers . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

UN Launches BASESwiki ADR Website on Business and Human Rights

[Editor update, Feb. 28, 2014: BASESwiki has migrated to ACCESS Facility:]

The United Nations has launched a new alternative dispute resolution wiki on business and human rights called BASESwiki, the Business and Society Exploring Solutions wiki:

“It is a forum where anyone can share, access and discuss information about the non-judicial mechanisms and resources available around the world to help companies and their external stakeholders resolve disputes. It will be a resource for all stakeholders – companies, NGOs, mediators, lawyers, academics and government officials. It will be an interactive forum, built over time by and for its

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Canada Revenue Agency to Audit Canadian eBay PowerSellers

Canada’s Minister of National Revenue recently announced the Canada Revenue Agency’s intention to audit certain Canadian sellers (so-called high volume “PowerSellers”) of products on eBay, which is the world’s largest global online marketplace. The Canadian tax authority, which has long been concerned about a lack of tax compliance in respect of electronic commerce, wants to determine if those sellers have properly reported the income earned from their online sales.

The Canada Revenue Agency’s decision to audit the eBay sellers follows a series of Federal Court decisions confirming the tax authority’s ability to force eBay’s Canadian companies to disclose the names . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Well Worth a Read – George Paul’s “Foundations of Digital Evidence”

George Paul says that digital record keeping has caused an evidentiary crises of societal proportions and that it is our responsibility, as lawyers, to find a resolution – to find a way of effectively testing the authenticity of digital records so they do “what people expect them to do,” and so that truth is found and justice done.

The American Bar Association published Paul’s “Foundations of Digital Evidence” in 2008. Paul is an American trial lawyer from Arizona with a deep interest in the evidentiary implications of digital information. He was kind enough to provide short interview this week, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology